tv The Stream Al Jazeera November 2, 2013 2:30am-3:01am EDT
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in music, you guys would have taken the award for that, one of the first big endorsement deals for hiphop artist >> that said it all. >> but how has it changed? how has corporate influence tag fido the years? >> we didn't do it to get an endorsement deal. we didn't even do it for the money. we were just rhyming about so much good things, we said, what can we do next? we rapped with rock and roll, and we did a rap about the sneakers that we love. and i think what happened is that that was the first time people saw the relationship of music entity could be huge as sports. it was the first time that a non-athletic entity was able to get a sneaker endorsement. the problem was this. we did it.
it was good and sincere, and it wasn't even about the deal. nowadays, people will search for the deal first, someone not be responsible with the music they put out. the reason it worked for dmc, it was positive and it was good. we didn't work with the record deal, i got more sneakers, i got more money than you. look at my car and look at my jewelry. we had big chains and rolls royces and all of that. our song about the sneaker ers wasn't about the material, but where the sneakers had been. we had global appeal, i had these sneakers walking down the university. there was a stereotype of yeah, those kids with the gold chains,
and adidas and the kids with the suits, those are the bad people of our society, which is true. the first thing you did when you got some money, if you sold drugs and did a stickup, at that time in the 80s, everybody who was fresh, he was a drug dealer, so we made that record, i'm with the st. john's' university, and i have a high school diploma. so now, when they endorse an artist who is negative, and doesn't project anything positive to the audience, just the product. >> but if they're a good artist and making money for the record companies, they're still going to sell the music, aren't they?
>> but this isn't about censorship of freedom of speech. it's about responsibility. our record about being a drug dealer, we told our story, but at the end of the record, we said, you younger guys don't have to do this. nowadays in america, the guy tells his story about being a drug dealer like its good. and america celebrates it just because he's making money. we created hiphop so we didn't have to have more drug dealers and gang bangers. we created hiphop so he wouldn't think it was cool to name himself after scarface, the movie, or the gangsters. we created the stories, but also gave positive, constructive alternatives. i was on the radio one time.
and the guy calls in, and he says yo, dmc, just finish your saying -- this is powerful -- just for your saying, be cool, go to school. i'm dmc, the place to be. i go to st. john's university. after 12th grade i went straight to college. this guy calls, when you said that, you gave me a good problem. >> i said, what do you mean >> he said, i had the adidas and the gold chain, and the money and my bag of weed and my bourbon, and stuff like that, but here goes my idol dmc, saying school is cool. he said i had everything material, but i didn't have an education, i didn't have a high school diploma. i was gang banging and selling drugs, and when you said that, i stopped.
and i got my ged. and i knew i was complete. i got my car over here, and now i got my ged. and with this ged, i was able to take college courses at the community college. he said, when i walked in the doors of the community college, i saw a whole world that i didn't know existed. i'm sitting here in a $3 million house, with five whips outside, and i'm a lawyer. that's the type of corporate excitement that we want to generate. our association with these record companies and these big corporations, what is it going to do for our communities? what is it going to do for our nags? that's what we saw in people. people say, dmc, what you're saying, i'm 49 years old, and you're saying that because you're wiser and more mature and older, and i say that's true,
young brother and sister, but everything i've been saying since i was 15 years old. check the record. ed ross, you're a member of the hiphop trio, and i know you have a question for d. go for it >> what up, d? this is crazy. - >> he's the reason why he started it all. >> this is how we did it in the bronx, man. >> what's up? >> >> i'm the elusive one. >> we got a question, and we're still going to ask the question.
the question is this, i got some numbers. in 1973, it was 400,000 people in jail in this country. in the u.s. in 2013, 40 years later, which is pretty much the lifespan of hiphop, we have approximately 3 million people in jail. >> it's crazy. >> if you include the number of people that are on parole, on house arrest, in centers, and probation, that number is about 12 million or 10 million. >> right. >> so i just wanted to get, what is your view on the process of mass incarceration through this private prison industrial complex that hit the u.s.? what is your view on that, especially being someone who was there at the beginning of hiphop, and through that life stan, we have seen a whole
hiphop generation get hut behind bars? >> it's interesting you say it, because we were saying at the beginning of this discussion. you had all of these young people that were responsible. and knew i can make this song, and it can be about fun, or i can tell this story about a drug dealer, or i can tell this story about being in a gang, but we didn't celebrate those negative things, and one of the biggest problems we have with this, if these young people turn on the radio, and they turn on mtv, they see profanity, negativity, and violence celebrated in hiphop like its cool, not realizing that it was young people who created hiphop so we don't have to do this. cool hurt knows this, and when we started doing this hiphop thing, we started putting an end to the whole
idea of gang violence, and selling drugs to each other. if i'm selling drugs to you and my neighborhood is falling apart, that's wrong, and we knew we had a responsibility not to allow this to persist. but the problem is, these corporations,mtv and when you look at hollywood and the movies, you never see a good positive hiphop movie about a guy that doesn't sell drugs, and doesn't want to be in a gang, but he's going to be a rapper. every rapper's story was, i was in a gang and i'm selling drugs, and you have america celebrating this fact. you have radio stations that play the same eight records every 20 minutes, and every one of those records is, i'm selling drugs and shooting and killing and disrespecting women and it's good. no! the records are supposed to be saying, this is not good, and
here's what we're going to do. so when you look at that, the problem is, these little kids used to look at a rapper or a producer or dj and see something positive and say, i don't have to do this. and now they look at them and say, that's what they do to get money and famous? that's what i'm going to do. it's not that the music causes the problem, but the music at one time was a solution to the problem. and our music, our minimals, our concepts, the words that's coming off of these rap songs is not good for our public and our communities. >> speaking of that, d, you talk to a lot of young people who seek your advice, so when we come back, i want to talk about how you discovered your true self, and some of your passions long after you struck gold in the music business.
♪ >> we're back with run dmc, better moan as d. and d, you have a lot of young people and you advice, and how was your advice to them in 1988 and now? >> it's really no different. one of the things that i do say to young people is, the reason why hiphop is so successful is because we listen to our elders. we listened to our elders, and we listen to what the elders would tell us. the negative and positive.
we would take that, apply it to the world we was living in now, and we would put that total experience of their knowledge and their wisdom and experience on a record. so if i'm 18 years old, speaking at 18 with what the elders gave me, and then 17 to the age of 2, here's me on the rap song, speaking all of this knowledge and wisdom, that kid who is eight years old, hearing me at 18, by the time he's 18, he's highly evolved. we don't have that anymore. when i was 16 years old and i went into a room with 18-year-olds, i left with something valuable. when i was 18 and i sat in a room with 20, 25 years old, i left with something valuable. the problem now is, i can sit there and talk to the younger generation because i'm not talking it them at 49 years old, but talking to them as hiphop,
so they can relate. >> marcus, a music journalist, and amanda, you go first. >> hi, i want to say that i have loved you since i was ten years old but i'm impressed with how you've been able to raise social consciousness with the work that you've done at camp felix. i'm adopted and have known that i was adopted. and i wonder how you found you were adopted so late in life has helped you with these kids. >> marcus, you too. >> you talk about giving kids a lot of wisdom about the game, but the thoughts of democracyization of the internet that allows kids to be able to you know, create music and put it out there, without necessarily having access to wisdom of artists like yourself, but people of older generations >> we have two minutes left
>> the answer to the first question, i found out i was adopted at 35, and after it was done, all of the hiphop, run dmc stuff. and the fame and the fort up, i said, there has to be more to life than just dmc and king of rock. when i asked the question, i got the answer. yes, you're adopted and i was a foster kid. what happened to me, i was given hiphop for a greater purpose than a guy to go silver platinum. for me, i was given hop hop for a mission so i could continue to do what cool hurt and grand master flash did to me when i was 12 years old with a record. to go onto the question, it created a bad problem for hiphop, because first of all, everybody wants to be a rapper, and first of all, everybody wants to be a rapper and it
could be the crappiest rap and it's the worst thing ever. and there's so much bad stuff out there, that everybody thinks it's good. that's the problem with hiphop. >> all right, darryl on that note, we're out of time. but thank you so much for joining us tonight and we really appreciate hearing all of your thoughts. and thanks everyone in our google hang out for your questions this evening and thanks to our amazing online social community for all of the tweets.
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